Focus on Friends - Friends of the Dania Beach Paul DeMaio Branch Library
The Friends of the Dania Beach Branch Library are thankful to the pioneering efforts of Paul DeMaio. He was the first “Friend” of the Dania Beach Library and was instrumental in the early development of the library and the Friends group.
The Dania Beach Branch Library began operating in February 5, 1979 in a small space in the Dania Beach City Hall. It was begun as a Broward County Library-In-Action project to provide library services to the Dania Beach Community. Mr. DeMaio was a frequent volunteer at the library and was the founder of The Friends of the Dania Beach Library.
Remember: Good Friends make Great Libraries!
Mr. DeMaio advocated relocating the library from its location inside the Dania Beach City Hall to a much larger space in the Graves Museum Building on Federal Highway. Mr. DeMaio was successful and the library re-opened in the Graves Museum in June 1995. The larger space allowed for more library materials and better services like PCs for research and writing.
Mr. DeMaio passed away on March 26, 1999 at the age of 93 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In November 1999, to recognize Mr. DeMaio and to celebrate his work and vision, the name of the Dania Beach branch was officially changed to the Dania Beach Paul DeMaio Branch Library.
Thanks to funding provided by the 1999 library bond issue, the library moved to yet a larger location in the ground floor of the Citibank Building at 255 East Dania Beach Boulevard in June 2001. This library was open until January 15, 2011.
In March 2005, thanks in part to advocacy efforts led by then Friends President Sandy Mitzel and other members of the Friends of the Dania Beach Paul DeMaio Library. Dania Beach citizens voted to approve a bond to build a new library building and parking garage in the city center. In February 2007, Broward County Commissioners approved an agreement with the City of Dania Beach to contribute funds for the library and garage project. Groundbreaking for the new library was held on Saturday, January 9, 2010 and the grand opening for the new library, located at 1 Park Avenue East, next to Dania Beach City Hall, was held on Saturday, April 9, 2011.
The Friends of the Dania Beach Paul DeMaio Branch Library are key supporters of the library. They operate a Friends Book Fair room and coordinate other fundraising efforts to help support library programs and services. Through the generosity of the Friends’ work, library programs for children, teens and adults as well as equipment not provided for in the general operating budget of the library are made possible. The Friends are influential advocates of library services and communicate the value of library services to elected officials at all levels of government, to voters and to the local community.
For more information about The Friends of the Dania Beach Paul DeMaio Branch Library please call, 954-357-7073.